Gaslighting Yourself During a Pandemic

March 18, 2020

I’ve heard a lot of “trying to stay positive,” “I prefer to think positive,” etc., so far, and that’s cool. I get it. But, for me, sometimes telling myself to stay positive feels like gaslighting. Read more

Meandering Paris

May 2, 2018

I found my old Plan de Paris in the garage this weekend. The size of a pocket bible. Something about the energy of this book has made me keep it all these years. Or maybe it’s just the sheer magnificence of how it’s organized that makes me hold onto it. Or maybe I just don’t want to let go of that part of my youth, the first time I escaped my childhood and ventured beyond California, alone. Read more

Poems are Made by ‘Fools’ Like Him, My Dad, 95 Years Old

June 18, 2017

My dad is 95 Years Old. He will be 96 in December. I asked him recently if he’d ever thought of being a poet. I was surprised to hear his answer. Read more


December 12, 2016

Rant. verb 1. speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way. “she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all” synonyms: fulminate, go on, hold forth, vociferate, sound off, spout, pontificate, bluster, declaim. Sometimes I like to speak at length in a wild, impassioned way. Sometimes I like… Read more


November 15, 2016

Poem originally published under the name Marla Carlton on September 23, 2016 in Rat’s Ass Review Love and Ensuing Madness

I walk into the club.
I see you at the end of the bar.
I move closer.
You smile. Read more

In the Beginning

November 14, 2016

Poem originally published in Rat’s Ass Review, Love  and Ensuing Madness under the name Marla Carlton.

Play me, Tempt me, Pursue me
Go ahead. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. I am here for your enjoyment.
I won’t break. 
Read more

A Costume Conundrum

October 1, 2016

Not a nurse, not a barmaid
not a cavegirl, not a hooker Read more

Published: Rat’s Ass Review

September 3, 2016

I am thrilled to announce that two of my poems have been published in Love and Madness, a collection on Rat’s Ass Review, an online poetry journal. Please take a look if you are so inclined. The poems “In the Beginning” and “Prey” both cover the broad topic of Love… Read more

Overcoming My Childhood from the Daughter of an Alcoholic Father

May 14, 2016

Do you worry about how much someone drinks? Hmm. Yes I do. I don’t worry about how much I drink but I do worry about how much my husband might drink. Lucky for me my husband doesn’t drink all that much, so I don’t have to worry too often. But, I am upset when someone is drunk at a party, especially if I’m not drinking. Read more


January 28, 2016

Listen. I feel like I’m quickly going crazy. Not slow crazy       quick crazy.

The urgency to get into the bath is palpable. It’s the rain. The rain makes me this way.
Ring. Ring. My mom. My dad. Ring Ring. My mom. My dad. A friend I just called Read more

I’m a Good Daughter

July 31, 2015

My father is an obstinate man. If I tell him it’s raining, he tells me it’s not. One day, I commented how interesting it was for a painter to paint a cow bright red, and he replied matter of factly, “There are red cows, I’ve seen them.” Read more

Better than Botox

May 19, 2015

I recently came upon a book titled French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude (Grand Central Publishing, December 24) by author Mireille Guiliano. I loved the title immediately, as here in Los Angeles, youth rules. I myself have thought about a facelift mainly because I have heard that getting a facelift in your forties gives you the most “bang for your buck.” Read more

my dad loves tamales

April 25, 2015

my dad loves tamales
but only with lard
bacon grease, real butter,
shortening, 5-star
fat only. on weekends Read more

It’s me, not you

April 18, 2015

Introverts are not what you think. I am an introvert, but most people would not believe that. I’m social when I go out. I like people BUT… Read more

My House, My Rules

April 15, 2015

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I’ve had journals since I was old enough to write. I saved them, all of them. Until my mom read my journal when I was thirteen. Not the age you want your mom reading your journal. Read more

A Minecraft Mind

March 17, 2015

I had just found his progress report folded up and hidden in his backpack, and I tried to remain calm as I set the paper on top of my computer. He took a moment. His eyes scanned. Neurons scrambling in his head as he saw the “F” in English and the list of missing assignments. Read more

Why I Like to Screw with My Husband

March 9, 2015

There’s nothing worse than buying expensive pens and having them swiped by your 12-year-old so he can trade them for candy at school. Yes. You heard correctly. My son actually trades my pens for candy. I want him to be an entrepreneur but not at the expense of my pens. Read more

6 Reasons Why 3 Children are the Tipping Point

January 19, 2015

I started out with one child like most women do. Then, three and a half years later I ended up having twins, so I jumped from one to three overnight. Now, I have to admit when I had just one my attitude was a little different, and I can honestly say that three children is the tipping point. Read more

Why You Should Never Open Your Door to Strangers

January 14, 2015

My first scary memory as a child happened when I was three. A sound had woken me up in the middle of the night. I heafd a knock on the door and my mom talking. So, I squeezed my blankie and headed down the dark hallway toward the living room. I remember my mom looked very nervous. Then, there was another knock. Read more

40 and Pissed Off

November 14, 2014

I am 46. Fuck. How did that happen? When did I move to the other side of the mountain? When did I become my mother? When did I become the mom who knows nothing? When did I become the bitchy wife? When did I become 40 and pissed off? Read more

13 Things NOT TO SAY to a Mom with Twins

October 18, 2014

I have twins. They are 8-years-old now. And I can tell you after almost nine years of having twins there are some things people say that really PISS ME OFF. There are also things that are NOT SAID that PISS ME OFF. So either way, if it’s the first decade post birth, anyone who speaks or looks at me the wrong way is treading on THIN ICE. Read more

It’s Just a Slap

September 28, 2014

As I was sitting in a therapist’s office for the first time in my life this week, I wasn’t sure what to think. I began to speak, but then she stopped me. “Hold on. Before we talk, I want to inform you regarding the things I’m required to report to authorities.” Read more

Terminator, Here I Come

September 24, 2014

I sit at my laptop all day long, from the moment I return home at 9am after dropping my children at school, to the moment I leave to pick them up from school at 3:30pm.

Let me make this clear. I do not get up from my chair all day except for three reasons: 1) I make a Nespresso Latte for myself around 9:30am. 2) I forage through the fridge around 1pm for something to eat for lunch, usually with a spoonful or two from the jar of Dulce De Leche I keep in the fridge! 3) I have to go to the bathroom. Read more

No Time Like the Present

August 31, 2014

Ruby, our hamster, just jumped off her wheel. That damn wheel kills me. She runs with such purpose. Such determination. Such conviction. She believes she is going somewhere. I avert my eyes from my laptop screen and look up at her. She is sitting on her hind legs, staring at me. What does she want from me? I think she is smarter than the average bear or at least the average teddy bear hamster. Read more

If I knew I only had two years left

August 10, 2014

I just woke up from a dream, or perhaps a nightmare, where I learned that the Earth will implode on itself in two years. That’s it, two years from today. That’s all we’ve got. When I woke up, it got me thinking. What if that were true? What if we only had two years before some catastrophic event happened on earth that destroyed it. What would I do, if I knew I only had two years left, if everyone only had two years left? Should I be sitting at a desk? Read more

Bring Me Some Water, I’m Drowning.

July 16, 2014

Water calms me. Baths, steam rooms, pools, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans,
Niagara Falls.

I soak in the bath for hours. A psychic told me to shower often, to get my head straight, to cleanse, 
wash away other people’s energy. Read more

A Day at Marina Grande, Capri – Time-lapse Video

June 26, 2014

My son, 11 years old at the time, shot this time-lapse of our couple hours at the beach in Capri. Read about our fast-paced trip to Italy, 10 cities in 1o days. Thoughts thoughts Read more

A Summer Trip to Italy with the Kids: 10 Cities in 10 Days, Saluti

June 26, 2014

A 6th grade trip to Italy, God help me. 12 children, 3 parents, 2 teachers. 11 days. EF Tours was the chosen tour company, known for being cheap. They lived up to their reputation. We arrived in Milan on a Monday, after 31 hours of travel beginning at 3:30am at LAX, a long layover in NYC and finally Milan, five movies later. We met up with other assigned groups at the airport. 51 of us piled onto our tour bus that would become our second home for the next 9 days. I’m not a group person. Read more

How to Stay Inspired in Your Work

June 25, 2014

In the creative world, the word passion comes up frequently in group discussions.

“I’m just not passionate about my work anymore.”

“How do you keep the passion alive in your work?”

“What inspires you?”

All common questions. Read more

Top 10 Reasons Why Vampires are Hot

February 14, 2014

For decades Hollywood has made vampire movies. I remember when the Ann Rice novels first came out – vampires were popular again. Then Twilight – and another wave of vampire movies and TV shows followed. I think everyone can attest that the actors they cast as vampires are usually pretty hot. But what makes them hot? Is it the mere fact that they are vampires? That they are immortal? I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 reasons why I think vampires are hot. What are your top 10 reasons? Do you have a favorite vampire? Read more